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Anonyfinn "flyingfinn1"

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Metaltex Dia 9 cm/ 12 cm/ 15.5 cm Ravioli/ Pastry Cutters, Set of 3
Metaltex Dia 9 cm/ 12 cm/ 15.5 cm Ravioli/ Pastry Cutters, Set of 3
Price: 5.19

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fit for purpose!, 15 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've made pasties in all three sizes supplied, using a shortcrust pastry rolled out to about 4 mm. If the plate or saucer you use (or whatever) isn't quite the right diameter when cutting pastry circles, it doesn't matter if the circles are too large or the circle is somewhat irregular due to guessing, because when you clamp these shut, they all but cut through the pastry and it's easy to run the back of a knife round them to trim off the excess. Throw that in the oven for the kids...

Being greedy, I stuffed my pasties very full, and then noticed that with the clamps shut, there was a huge bulge out the back, and if I were to open the clamps I'd more or less cut through it (look at the pictures, when open the two halves are tight together, but if you imagine folding them closed, there's a pasty sized gap between them, which disappears when opened again). Anyway, the simple solution is that the hinges unclip, and it was enough to undo one side and twist a little to get my pasties out whole.

The results are a very good shape, and actually quite photogenic! Some recipies call for strong flour to get the pliability, but I used ordinary as many people do, and the pasties didn't fall apart during or after baking, or while eating. A good pastry recipe you can find by searching for the Hairy Bikers Cornish Pasty recipe online -- as far as pastries go, I felt it was one of the lower fat versions, it functioned well and tasted good. What you stuff them with is up to you, but I like to use left over lamb stew with swede, potato, carrot and onion.

Anyway, good results and certainly good for the price.

Polar RCX3M Run Heart Rate Monitor and Sports Watch
Polar RCX3M Run Heart Rate Monitor and Sports Watch
Price: 159.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Good for all levels, foot pod more useful than you might know, 15 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've found this model very reliable and easy to use, including downloading training programs and uploading data. I calibrated the foot pod on three laps of a 400 m track, as it's important to know the exact distance when calibrating. I'm surprised at the distance accuracy -- on a 13 kilometre moderately hilly circuit, there was only a 50 metre discrepancy between the distance on the watch and the gps sports app on my phone. You don't need gps! -- You know where you've been, it's how far and how you did it that's important! (you can write a note into your online training data as to where if you wish)

The foot pod also enables you to gauge your performance in terms of stride length, etc., so you can see in this way too how you are improving.

The training programs downloaded from the web are very good. In my case it's handy to stop myself from over-training or pushing too hard too often -- all heart ranges are important. Just because I can spend an hour at 165 to 180 bpm, that doesn't mean it's a good idea (and I'm not as young as I used to be).

The batteries in the watch and foot pod seem to last well and are easily replaceable. The backlight is 'just enough', and only that, but it does save battery.

If you are a beginner and think this is out of your league, I would consider it anyway depending on the purchase price and the difference between the cheaper model you are considering. It will save you from wanting to upgrade later, and this does all you need without being over the top. The foot pod does add the element of distance run, and stride speed and length, and the usb wireless connectivity is very handy -- these two units would cost you something to buy separately.

Do get yourself a training program, it's part of the expertise value of this Polar product. All your info is easily accessible on the web, so you can see how you're doing in all kinds of ways -- distances, times, efficiency, fitness, calories, approx. fat calories... If you are starting out, take it easy: if you can't keep your heart rate down to a particular zone, either continue anyway if you're just a few beats over, or mix jogging and walking -- you'll soon improve, in two or three months you'll be going quite happily. Not over-doing it can speed your progress.

For a balanced review, I'm trying to think of something to criticize, but nothing really stands out.

DURAGADGET Executive Black And Red Rigid Protective Case With Elastic Belt Loop Exclusively For Canon EOS M
DURAGADGET Executive Black And Red Rigid Protective Case With Elastic Belt Loop Exclusively For Canon EOS M
Price: 19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Resists scratches, dirt and water, but probably limited protection from hard impact, 14 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a semi-rigid case with soft-ish interior, and it fits the Canon EOS M, with the 18-55 lens on that typically comes with the kit. The zips are good, and there are metal D-clips on each side where you can attach a strap if required, but none comes with it.

As I've read from another site (or Bay!), while it's a good fit this case isn't purpose-made for the EOS M. However, it's a reasonably snug fit inside, and there's a small, Velcro-adjustable partition to one side of the camera, and this partition is a suitable size for a spare battery (an elastic tie would have been handy here). Looking at the picture, you might think there's bags of space behind the camera - behind the flap with slots for SD cards - but it's actually a good snug fit with the camera strap stored there. So the good news is that this isn't a monster of a case, but you won't get the speedlight flash in there. You *can* get a spare battery into one of the slots in the flap behind the camera, but it's pretty tight and right over the screen, so I'd rather not.

Anyway, while by no means rigid (you can flex the material with your finger, particularly over the lens), this case seems to offer some level of protection, is soft inside but not plush, and isn't really bigger than it needs to be. Impact resistance is limited, especially over the lens -- swinging it into a wall or bumping down the stairs yes, because all you need there is a little softening and scuff protection, but it's hard to see how the impact would be much reduced if it landed lens-first from head height.

Some may want a strap, or a wrist starp off one corner -- not difficult to find. The elastic exterior strap on the back is ok for belts, but you won't be able to slide your hand through to carry it this way.

Anyway, short of having a large and very plush case or a totally rigid case with soft/plush interior, this case is a nice size and delivers an acceptable level of protection so long as you don't do acrobatics or put it in your hold luggage (which I'd never do for reasons of theft). The small size is good, I wish the spare battery could be strapped in, and there's no room for the flash. But of all the options and the current price, I do like it.

Mehu Liisa 11 L Steam Juice Extractor
Mehu Liisa 11 L Steam Juice Extractor
Price: 108.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mehu (meh-who) -- Finnish for juice, 19 Jan 2014
Mehu is Finnish for juice (Liisa a female name) and this one produces it superbly. Finns do a lot of juicing, especially bilberry (small blueberries but higher in bioflavonoids, also known to Scotts as Blaeberry)from the forest, they know what they are about in that department, and this is one of the best. Water goes in the bottom to boil, fruits and sugar in the top (more sugar for room temp. storage, less for fridge/ground cellar storage, it's not simply a matter of taste). The steam goes up, and berry juice and sugar run down to the mid-section where you draw it off (the first lot of juice from the mid-section should be poured back over the top section to get everything out and nicely mixed). Wash your bottles well, have them ready in the oven at 100 C, which is plenty (sterilization, and so the glass doesn't crack when you put hot liquid in, use oven gloves to handle bottles). There is no need to give the finished bottles a boiling water bath after filling -- the juice that comes out is pasteurized, which is enough, and boiling reduces the vitamin content. 8 mature blackcurrant bushes will easily give you 10 litres of finished cordial (I use around 300 g of sugar per kilo of berries for cold storage), which you dilute to 6 or 7 to one for the finished drink (homemade Ribena) -- that's 60 to 70 litres of finished drink. Also makes a good syrup for e.g. ice cream. Bilberries benefit from the addition of a few strawberries to pep them up in my view. The finished stuff easily lasts a year, probably more, and will certainly carry you from one season to the next. If you don't have any black currant bushes, they need just a couple of metres between each one and really don't take a lot of care. You'll have fruits quite soon, and really something to talk about from three years onward. Anyway, to conclude, this is a tried and tested device which gives good results.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 7, 2014 4:28 PM BST

Philips HR1861 Whole Fruit Juicer - Aluminium
Philips HR1861 Whole Fruit Juicer - Aluminium

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reconsider if citrus fruits are your main intended use, 17 Jan 2014
I've had this a number of years, mostly sitting unused. It's as good as any others of this kind I'm sure. Presses are vastly superior but tend to cost more. But here's a realization for you regarding citrus. The other day I bought a job lot of oranges to get some use out of this machine. I had to peel them all by hand. Which took time. And I had to clean this large machine - pulp bucket, mesh, plunger, the transparent top and the inside housing of similar size where the juice flows, plus the container of course.

The result? The container has a foam separator, because you get foam, and it is of course impossible to separate it all, so you get a strange smoothie. And it's strange tasting, like peas my son said, because of all the white pulp mashed into it I suppose in addition to being sprayed through the air. There is a fair bit of liquid left in the pulp. And it's recommended that you don't store the juice because of all the air wacked into it by using centripetal force to send it flying through fine mesh (i.e. it spoils quickly, and in my experience it's spoilt already -- and if you can't store the juice, then you do smaller amounts, and wash the aforementioned parts every time).

Not to waste my oranges, I retrieved a cheap old juicer from a drawer (that's all the storage required, not a whole counter top). I didn't have to do any laborious peeling -- I simply chopped the oranges in half. Then I juiced in the usual old fashioned way (you know, wriggling the orange halves around the pointy bit), and got vastly superior taste and texture -- real orange juice. And it stores longer too. The little hand juicer was a breeze to wash, and went back in the drawer.

hand juicer:
* vastly superior taste and texture of juice
* No need to peel fruit, just chop in half
* The juice stores better, as it hasn't been sprayed through the air
* A fraction of the washing up
* A fraction of the storage space, no lost counter top
* A fraction of the cost and also more eco-friendly

* does non-softies like carrots and apples, but the taste/texture and longevity problems persist

If you want to do hard stuff and a real press is cost prohibitive, the machine will just have to do.
If your primary use is citrus fruits, don't bother, as a 10 hand juicer piddles all over it in every category:
taste, texture, longevity (of juice and device), prep time, juice wastage, cleaning, storage, cost. I've noticed low-star reviews are systematically receiving a single negative vote -- whether this is PR management from the company or from someone who doesn't like to admit to making a bad purchase (like I have -- seduced by the idea that a machine might make things easier and life better when it certainly doesn't) and doesn't know what good orange juice is (try the difference) remains a mystery -- but the logic, argumentation and experience I offer here are irrefutable: a hand juicer is infinitely better on citrus than this machine.

Silverline 456956 Jump Leads Heavy Duty 600A max 3.6m
Silverline 456956 Jump Leads Heavy Duty 600A max 3.6m
Price: 13.62

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good leads deserve to be bought, 16 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Finally a decent set of leads that isn't overpriced. Long yet flexible, with really strong clamps featuring robust springs. I'm recommending them because it's important that manufacturers are rewarded for bothering to produce robust products at a reasonable price, so vote with your wallet. Good stuff.

Taylors 10 Year Old Tawny Port - 700ml
Taylors 10 Year Old Tawny Port - 700ml
Offered by Micronutrients Ltd.
Price: 20.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a good port, 10 Dec 2013
I dabble with port, perhaps even have something of a collection. In any port, I look for a balance of fruit, fire (the alcohol coming through) and wood; they all have to be there, but the balance has to be right. Fire is good, but not so much that it overpowers the fruit which is generally the first thing that comes through; it should be there to complement and carry it. And a long wood finish is good, but it shouldn't be too protracted, overly blunt the edge of the fruit or be the only thing that lingers. I expected Taylors 10 year old Tawny to be pleasant enough, but I really didn't expect it to be this good. The balance of the three elements is excellent; there's a complex interplay in which they support each other extremely well and none gets lost. There's a lot of interest and refinement in the elements individually and especially in their interplay, actively engaging the drinker. If you were humming and harring between this and, for example, a more expensive vintage port (different category I know, but that's surprisingly often the choice that presents itself for me), then I would recommend this as a safe bet (let's face it, we've all had expectations occasionally disappointed with a vintage -- though often delighted, of course, but that occasional disappointment is why I don't have many long-term keepers in waiting). And you won't have to decant this Tawny either -- or when no one's looking, shamefully pour the dregs through a coffee filter! Taylors have really pulled it off nicely.

Logitech Z323 Speaker System
Logitech Z323 Speaker System
Price: 41.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Total let down, 5 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm comparing these to my old Creative T10 speakers (not exactly top end). Yes, you get a sort of rumble. Hurray. As for the rest of the sound, it's unclear and totally lacking depth. Even the sense of direction with stereo is lacking, so that and all the missing parts of the sound spectrum (what do you expect, one big speaker combined with little speakers and nothing in between) mean these speakers are poor for music and poor for gaming. I've just tried my head phones through these speakers, and the sound is tinny, and there's ridiculous background hiss like some early version of wireless speakers(and yes, PC volume is up). These are all major things. Minor things would include trying to adjust the volume with a smooth polished, conical shaped dial, on speakers that don't weigh anything -- not easy. Some people have called these low- to mid-range speakers, and of course at this price they are low range -- in other words budget. What you get with the subwoofer is taken away from the other speakers. And you certainly get what you pay for. If this is all you can afford, then fine, better than nothing. Otherwise the sound quality is so poor that I consider it rubbish. 2 Stars taking into account the price. If you can, pay more. But don't take my word for it, look carefully at the hardware. Just to clarify, the grey bottom hole is just a hole, and you can get bigger speakers in earphones. So, you have a set that goes boom and not much else.

Lava Lamp 14.5-inch Zebra
Lava Lamp 14.5-inch Zebra
Offered by Gadget Grotto
Price: 20.96

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Check the bulb first, 5 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a preliminary review to warn anyone buying this, the bulb that came with mine has a thread 1/8 " too wide. So, if this is a present, for example, you'd better open it up and test it first, because it will be a big disappointment if you can't get it to work. I find it hard to believe that the supplier wouldn't know of this problem. I'm now off to the shops to see if I can get a bulb that fits. If not, it's going back. Will report back later if I get it to work. Incidentally, the instructions say it takes 4-6 hours to get optimum colour and flow, but say don't use it for more than 8.

UPDATE: Well, I've been to the shops and bought two kinds of bulbs -- one was a little reflector bulb sold for other lava lamps in the store, which look the same as many others. Too big. An R39 reflector bulb is recommended, but the glass vessel sits on top of it. Actually, it's recommended in the instructions, but the US web site says use a refrigerator bulb for this series.

Then I tried 25w bulbs, same as fridge but in Europe ours are more cylindrical than ball shaped (well, at least the thread was the right kind, E14), ran it for an hour and nothing, the wax is still solid.

All this shouldn't be my problem should it? And I've already wasted time and money. Oh, I also wiped away the yellow machining oil left inside the holder, which smelt when it got hot. Now downgrading my review to 1 star, to alert others to the fact that it doesn't work out of the box, and you may have a job even finding a bulb for it.

My final solution is to use the standard R39 bulb (remember I've found conflicting instructions as to the bulb type, in addition to having one with the wrong thread supplied), which means the glass vessel rocks in the holder because it pivots on the bulb. And yes I get lava flow and it hasn't exploded. To the people supplying this, what a bunch of -kers.

Taylors of Harrogate Rich Italian Coffee Beans 227 g (Pack of 3)
Taylors of Harrogate Rich Italian Coffee Beans 227 g (Pack of 3)
Offered by Afro Caribbean Food Store - The Original Authentic
Price: 13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comes into its own for espresso and capuccino, 13 Oct 2013
A roast strength of 4, though not weak by any means, is lower than many espresso drinkers would go for. But anyway, I've ground this for filter coffee, and perfectly ok there, but I've also done finer grinds for cappuccino, and in my view it's here that this one really came into its own. Aromatic, deep and nutty, a richer depth of flavour than I get with it for filter coffee, and a lower acidity too. I'm not plugging this as a weak espresso, more of a full, rounded one that doesn't hit too hard on the bitter-acid scale. Satisfying rounded in my view, for an espresso or particularly cappuccino that brings contentment rather than on-the-fly mania.

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